Dec 5, 2022

Mawazo Writing Africa

Writing about the main

Tanzania on the spot over handling of teen mothers

Three prominent human rights organizations have filed a petition with the African Court on Human and Peoples’ Rights to speed up the resolution of a two-year-old case seeking to scrap Tanzania’s controversial policy, which in 2017 gave pregnant teenagers, child brides and teenage mothers the Exit prohibited back to school.

The Initiative for Strategic Litigation in Africa, Women’s Link Worldwide and Human Rights Watch filed a joint amicus curiae letter with the Arusha court on June 17, containing information were offered in support of the plaintiffs.


The case has been on hold since November 29, 2021, when the African court ruled that the applicants’ request for a temporary stay of the ban along with their main application.

< p>The original application was submitted in November 2020 by Equality Now, a global women’s rights organization, and the Tanzania Women Lawyers Association filed against former President John Magufuli’s government.

A year later, in November 2021, the Pr President Samia Suluhu’s government appeared to reverse the controversial policy by announcing that pregnant Girls and new mothers could resume classes in public schools.

The government has not provided an official response to either the main application or the application for interim measures, despite a court deadline in March 2021.

< Lawyers for the three rights groups say they want to provide information on “the gender implications of denying women and girls access to education, including their autonomy, development and self-reliance. upward mobility and the maintenance of income losses and poverty cycles."

“As a co-amicus, we offer a transnational perspective that emphasizes the importance of sexual and reproductive rights and the empowerment of girls and women to shape their lives projects , including attaining the highest possible level of education,” said Achieng Orero, senior counsel at Women’s Link Worldwide.

Mausi Segun, Africa director at Human Rights Watch, said the Africa court was well positioned to “reveal the potential to explore transformative recovery actions that could help address the permanent loss of education, stigma and discrimination faced by girls who are arbitrarily excluded from school.”